Originally Posted by PhotoFeller
Some say "If you don't carry with one in the chamber, why bother to carry at all?"
I believe its better to have SD capability for 99+% of the situations with C3 than 0% of the time with no firearm.
Proponents of C1 say a surprise attack that allows no time to rack the slide would be deadly. (Some say this situation may be deadly no matter what carry mode you use.) But what about the more likely scenarios where we are forewarned and can chamber a round? In these cases, having a weapon in C3 is just as effective as having one in C1.
Can an operating problem occur under extreme stress when the slide has to be racked. Yes, but we're not talking about brain surgery here. In fact, racking the slide is about the simplest and easiest maneuver I can think of with a hand held device. It's a 'no brainer'.
So, I'll take 99+% protection any day compared to no protection at all. If you think 99% is too high, plug in the appropriate number and I'll take it compared to not having a gun at all.
To play devil's advocate for a moment, I think the essence of the argument proponents of c1 are making is as follows (as I understand it): We should train/prepare for the worst case scenario. If we do, we'll be able to take care of all scenarios.
Owning a gun, in the first place, is an example of this. You and I, own a handgun to some degree because we want to be ready for the "worst-case" (no matter how rare) scenario of facing an armed attacker wishing to hurt/kill us, our loved ones, or other innocent people. So, by virtue of owning a gun, we seem to already be buying into the idea that preparing for the worst-case scenario is a very reasonable thing to do.
So... If we own firearm to prevent the worst-case scenario, in order to remain logically consistent, carrying in C1 appears to be the only reasonable behavior (as compared to C3 or C4). C1 does objectively give us an edge in various worst-case scenarios described in this thread (no matter how probabilistically unlikely those scenarios are. to calculate this, first calculate probability of armed attack, then of all these attacks calculate probability of you becoming injured or in other ways unable to rack the slide).
But, as many mentioned, there is a problem with such line of reasoning. As you prepare (by owning a gun and carrying it in C1) for one worst case scenario (for example, armed attacker trying to kill your family incapacitates your strong arm) and reduce the probability that you will lose in such scenario, you also increase the likelihood of another worst-case scenario (having an unintentional discharge that can hurt/kill you, your loved ones or other innocent people) and increase the likelihood that you will lose in that scenario. And that's the rub - there is no solution where you are prepared for all worst-case scenarios perfectly. So, one has to "pick their poison" and make their own calculus (depending on one's threat assessment, one's skills, one's level of training and amount of time dedicated to maintaining that training, one's perception of how innately careful one is, and many other factors). You and I are in agreement - our careful calculus leads us to opt for C3. We are also in agreement, I think, that people calling us wimps or idiots for doing this are macho imbeciles who don't realize how the same solution doesn't apply to every problem. We are also in agreement that everyone should engage in very careful calculus on their mode of carry and not follow blindly what some guy told them they aught to do (e.g., listen to experts carefully, but recognize that even they do not know your situation as well as you do).
Another problem with this quite understandable desire to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios occurs when such line of reasoning is taken to its extreme. Then, if you are an average person leaving in an environment with average level of threat present, you become a "prepper." In this case you begin to see as very reasonable (and in fact as the only prudent options) the following behaviors: stocking up on Spam and water needed for a 6-months survival in a situation when you are unable to resupply, surrounding your house with a 2-inch-thick steel fence, digging a water- and chemicals-impermeable underground bunker, constantly wearing a bullet-proof vest, conceal-carrying 7 glocks on you at a time, stocking up on short-wave radios in the event your town's communication system is destroyed, trying not to leave the house, acquiring a sniper rife and AK stocked with a minimum of 10k rounds for each, placing a handgun, shotgun, night-vision goggles, a crossbow and frame-thrower under your bed, building an air balloon to evacuate in case asteroid hits ocean and massive tsunami floods the planet, etc. If one is a special-forces operator working in the field (or even a normal citizen living in a very dangerous area) - some of these might be very reasonable behaviors. But if one is a Joe-6-Pack living in a crime-free town, perhaps he has gone too far in trying to be prepared for the worst-case scenario...
OK, back to work...